“The attention of the Board of Works is called to the state of Cannon street east, which is in an almost impassable condition. The sidewalks are torn away, and several accidents have occurred.
. Hamilton Spectator. April 6, 1876
Spring-like weather may have lifted spirits on April 6, 1876, but it also signalled that it was time for the City of Hamilton to do some remedial work on the city’s streets and sidewalks.
A notable passing was carried in the Dundas True Banner of April 6, 1876, a man with specific memories and commendations for his participation in the War of 1812:
“Mr. James McDavid, aged 79 years, died at the residence of Mr. David Bates, his son-in-law, in Hamilton, on Friday last. The deceased was born at Stoney Creek, and took part in the war of 1814-1815, he being employed as a dispatch bearer from one post of the British army to the other. He was mounted on a Dragoon horse, and knew well the paths travelled by the Indians, but was exposed to great dangers, being liable at any moment to be intercepted by the enemy. As each year came round he always particularly noted the day on which he carried the dispatch which announced to the commander the tidings of peace. He was well known in Dundas, where he spent most of his time for some years past with Mrs. Russell, his eldest daughter, and where his cheerful and intelligent countenance will long be remembered by many friends. His remains were interred at Stoney Creek on the 3rd inst.”
The murder of Nelson Mills by Michael McConnell still were of interest weeks long after both murderer and victim were buried in their respective graves.
The editor of the Dundas True Banner expressed his opinion forcefully about a commercial exploitation of the Mills murder:
“The Hamilton papers are just now in ecstasies. It appears that Joseph Lyght & Co. have published a fly sheet which is profusely illustrated and contains all the horrid details of the late Mr. Mills, the trial of his murderer and the scenes at his execution. Surely our city contemporaries should be above pandering to such base and grovelling curiosity. As public educators it is not their mission to teach people to gloat over crimes, the enormity of which makes men shudder.”
The Desjardins Canal, connecting Hamilton Harbour with the Town of Dundas, through Coote’s Paradise, had long since become unused for its original purpose of being a route for passengers and freight, having been eclipsed by railroads.
So the True Banner of April 6, 1876, a step about to be taken in terms of the ownership of the canal:
“On Tuesday, Mr. Blake introduced a bill to amend the act respecting the Desjardins Canal, so the Government would have power when the Canal became their property at the end of the present session, to transfer it to the Town of Dundas.”
Finally the editor of the Dundas True Banner heaped scarcasm on the reporting in the Hamilton newspapers about the new Turkish Baths on James Street North :
“We are greatly pleased to note that the citizens of Hamilton are fast regaining their respectability, as we see by the Times that no less than twenty-two of the inhabitants of that city took baths the other day and were clean washed. The Times don’t say whether or not they put on clean shirts, but we hope that they did, as it would be a sheer waste of money for them to get scrubbed, and then put on the same dirty old duds. Perhaps the Times will be kind enough to tell us just how many of the “great unwashed” in the city have cut their tow nails within the past month. Such items of news show a degree of enterprise on the part of the newspaper locals which is rarely exhibited, and deserves special commendation.”
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